http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Look What I Got In The Mail and Burning Rubber

Was it because it was Halloween or was it because my friend Nancy loves me???  Look what I got in the mail today--

IMG_5192Nancy grows beautiful pumpkins and my bet is on her being the pumpkin fairy and not Ted the mailman!

Geez it was an early morning, Michael and I have become so spoiled in our retirement we both detest rising to the sound of an alarm clock but that’s exactly what we had to do today.  We were out the door at 6:30am—YUK! 

We left some rubber out on the highway and it wasn’t because Michael was driving as he did when a teenager—we hadn’t been on the highway three minutes--a truck was coming toward us with his lights on, Michael saw the deer cross in that truck’s headlights and laid on the brakes.  SCREECH and the smell of burning rubber filled the jeep—we managed to slow down just enough to only bump the deer—he/she ran off into the dark.

I had to have blood drawn in Billings and I had to be fasting—I don’t do well without eating in the morning so this blood had to be drawn EARLY!!  Michael then had an appointment with his rheumatologist who is leaving practice here in Montana heading to New Hampshire.  She is a native Montanan but just decided it was time to see another part of the country—got a great job offer and so off she goes with her three standard poodles.  We hate to see her go, she is the ONLY doctor who could make Michael do what he was supposed to!

Errands were next before another appointment—Harbor Freight and to pick up an airline approved pet carrier Michael found on Craigslist for $20!!  SCORE as Paulette would say!  We also went to Al’s Bootery and purchased Michael some steel toed work boots—he managed to find some Rollie which faintly resemble cowboy boots! 

Back to the medical area and an appointment for me.  If I hadn’t needed a prescription before we head out of town I would have dressed and walked out.  No one should have to wait 45 minutes to see the doctor who is in private practice and doesn’t deliver babies anymore.  I could have understood a surgical emergency but nope, she was just running behind.  Then when I left and got all the way to the parking lot my cellphone rang, she had written my prescription wrong.  Fine, mail it to me, I am not coming back in there!

Finally, off to lunch and a very good lunch I might add, at Jake’s.  We had several more errands to run, JoAnn’s, Costco, Wal Mart.  It was one LONG day in Billings!!  We finally got to Nat’s in time to enjoy a little happy hour with him and to retrieve Emmi.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lots Going On

Everyday I have a to do list and it keeps getting longer but today I was able to cross off several tasks!!  Michael left early this morning for Robyn and Claire’s to cut some dead trees for saw logs and for firewood—he was gone until lunch time.  Could that be the reason I got lots done??  Winking smile

Finished Marti’s next quilt and loaded another piece for her also.  Here’s some photos of the sweet little quilt I finished today.


We are busy selling some of the quilting things we bought from the lady in Billings—we are having great luck on eBay.  It’s a lot of work—photo taking, description writing and then when the item is sold, shipping it in a timely manner so you don’t get negative feedback.  I am going to be posting a lot of books over the next few days—thank goodness for one rate boxes!

Michael went back to Robyn and Claire’s for another load after lunch—brought that load of logs home and went back up to retrieve the mini-excavator—Emmi and I rode along on the last trip.

IMG_5183In he goes—looks precarious doesn’t it??

Using the last of the garden tomatoes today—I made tomato soup—YUM, with cheese toast for supper.  When the garden frosted, we pulled the tomato plants up by the roots, hung them upside down in the garage and all the tomatoes eventually ripened.  This is the last of them.  IMG_5171 The RV Goddess had this recipe on her blog a while back, roast 3lbs cut up tomatoes, a whole onion and a whole garlic head in a 375 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes.  Puree in a blender, add chicken stock to thin, season with salt and pepper.  Delicious! 

The full moon was so bright last night I didn’t sleep well, kept thinking it was daylight!  Here’s a shot of the moon heading down in the west.


And yes, Lisa (sorry I forgot to answer your question) John really is that tall—I think he is about 6’ 5” tall and Michael is about 5’ 10” tall.


It was a good, productive day—the longarm must have heard me threatening it—she behaved today! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Frustrating Day

To all our readers—thank you for all the encouraging, positive comments you left about our impending move—we appreciate it!

About 4pm this afternoon if someone had come along and said, “do you want to sell your longarm?”  I would have said, “sure, how quick can you get it out of here??”  Just one of those days, a tension day so to speak.  I was using a variegated thread from Superior and experiencing thread breakage much too frequently.  After getting some machine adjustment help from Michael and rethreading the machine differently, the breakage stopped but not before the air got a little blue in the quilt studio!!  I should have finished this little quilt today but it was not to be!

Our hearts go out to all those folks on the east coast—the photos are very scary!! 

Michael worked hard in the enclosed trailer—he installed my sewing desk along with another raised desk which is over the small refrigerator we are taking along and an area for stacked storage bins.  It’s gonna be a nice place to sew and quilt for the next year.  When we come home my studio will feel like a mansion! 

We took another walk tonight to just clear our heads and exercise the over-active dog!  Windy but warmer than it should be for this time of year. 

IMG_5111Something we don’t see often in fall and winter—a rainbow spotted this morning on our walk. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Cat Can Come Out Of The Bag

Michael received a confirming phone call on Friday and now we can let the cat out of the bag.  It’s been hard to keep this secret since late July!!!  We told no one until around the first of September and now our readers get to hear the big news!!!

We are moving for at least a year—maybe longer, to Aransas Pass, TX.  For the last few years while RVing in the winter Michael has become really bored and feels his health declines while we are away from home.  You can’t take all the tools along in the motorhome it takes to keep him occupied.  He was not interested in volunteering somewhere and he was not interested in working for not so great wages.  If you read Rollie and Gina’s blog you know Rollie works in the oil industry--when Rollie heard Michael was looking for a job he suggested Michael might like to work for him.  So, we are off on a great adventure and we have Rollie to thank from the bottom of our heart.  Michael is going to be learning and doing things he’s never done before—to say he is excited is an understatement.

So there is an explanation for all the remodeling going on in the enclosed trailer—if I’m going to be quilting in a Texas summer, insulation and air conditioning were necessary. 

There are so many things on our to-do list this year—it’s a little different when leaving for three months versus a year or more.  The time for our departure is approaching way too rapidly—twenty-five days—YIKES!! 

Rollie located a nice RV park in Aransas Pass.  Jim and Ellie will be joining us around the first of the year for a few months. 

Wish us luck as we start another new journey!

IMG_5083Took this photo on Friday morning when it was so cold and foggy.  Today is was cloudy all day but the temp rose to above 60 degrees!! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Just As Quick They Are Gone

It was still dark when John and Brenda headed down the driveway this morning.  It was sad to see them go—we had a great visit.  Mid-afternoon Brenda called—seems John had lost his sunglasses and thought he might have left them in the restaurant last night.  Sure enough, I called the restaurant and the sunglasses were right where we left them!! 

Michael spent the day working with the wrecked jeep he purchased, unloading it from the trailer and then rolling it into the garage.  I spent the day quilting finishing up this one for Marti--IMG_5098IMG_5103I used a dragonfly pantograph per Marti’s request—it looks nice!

Loaded the backing for Marti’s next quilt and will get started quilting it tomorrow.  Other than a couple walks with the dog and a couple basketball games with the dog that was it for our day—nothing exciting!

Cold and snowy this morning, still cold tonight but no snow accumulation.


I may get brave enough and install Windows 8—I think Rick would bail me out if I run into problems?? 

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Very Good Day

Chilly this morning but in spite of that we were all at our computers, drinking our tea and coffee by 7am.  After a breakfast of egg and sausage burritos Mike, Emmi and I went for a walk while John and Brenda availed themselves of our hot showers!

Everyone but me took an additional walk up to see the Tin Tee Pee—they approved!  We had to stop working on the little trailer—I spent way too much time working on it this summer and not on quilting—now I’m behind!

Everyone declined lunch after our big breakfast—so we headed off for Livingston about 1pm with Brenda and I planning on getting in a little shopping.  The guys must have plotted against us taking us for a drive up the West Boulder and over the mountain to Livingston.  We did get to Livingston in time to visit the wine and cheese shop to purchase some awesome olive oil and balsamic vinegar—YUM!  A quick stop at Albertson’s for groceries then on to the Rib and Chop where Brenda said she had the best chicken fried steak she had ever eaten!!  I had salmon and sweet potato fries—what a combination, huh!  John and Michael ate beef—imagine that!

Back home via the freeway and we are now relaxing—John just showed us a great video Tom Brokaw did at the Olympics in Canada in 2010—he focused on how close the two nations are, how we compliment each other but he also gave some facts we were totally unaware of.  Canada has a population of 34 million, less than the state of California!!  And 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border.  See what you can learn when you have Canadians visiting in your home??

It’s been a great, great time having John and Brenda here—we are so glad they stopped.

IMG_5084Emmi wants to know who is parked in her driveway.  Our horses have stuck their heads over the fence to check out the Canadian visitors, too.


IMG_5086IMG_5088Huge herd of antelope over on the West Boulder. 

IMG_5090Two good looking cowboys don’t you think?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

They Are Here

The stunts my husband pulls!  He left here this morning at 5am headed to Helena to pick up that jeep he bought in an online auction—a wrecked jeep with a good engine for the other jeep we have with a bad engine—confused yet??  I didn’t even know when Michael left this morning—he said I was sleeping too soundly to disturb!  And when I tried to call him the phone gave me some strange message and kept giving me that message all morning.  Michael hates phones, does not carry a cellphone and I just assumed he hadn’t turned the phone on.  About time for him to be back I had a sudden thought—oh, no, I forgot to renew the cellphone!!  See, we have Straight Talk and I refill our plan around this time every month—today was the day the phone expires!  I quickly went online, bought another month of airtime and almost immediately called Michael—success, the phone works.

Our weather today was nasty—icy fog fell most of the morning making for a tricky driving day for Michael.  John and Brenda arrived about 2pm and ran into only one stretch of bad road.  It was great to see them—it’s been a while!

We spent the afternoon chatting before enjoying a delicious meal—beef tenderloin, baked potatoes, salad, fresh apple cake and homemade ice cream.  Delicious!! 

John and Brenda have retired to their home on wheels along with Meg.  Since Michael had such an early day, its early to bed for us!  I’ll take some photos tomorrow—forgot today!IMG_5081Taken yesterday morning, today the mountains were hidden all day by clouds and fog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Errands and Cleaning

For all of our friends who know Brenda and John, you will understand why I was cleaning on the day prior to their arrival.  For those of you who don’t know Brenda, let’s just say she’s the only person I know who wears out vacuum cleaners frequently!  SmileAnd to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t as if my house didn’t need cleaning!  I love my new little vacuum cleaner—a Panasonic which weighs very little—it’s a good vacuum for bare floors but has no beater bar for carpet—we only have an area rug in the living room.  I see on Facebook John and Brenda made it to the border and will cross in the morning—they may spend a chilly night—Brenda also said their furnace wasn’t working! Sad smile

After a lunch of chicken on the grill, baked potatoes and cesear salad I drove to town.  Mailed off a birthday present to one little girl in Arkansas and some Halloween surprises to the same household.  Took the recyclables to the dump and visited the feed store for horse salt and sunflower seeds for the birds.  The bank stop took the longest—remember when I was arguing with our credit union in Chicago about health savings accounts a while back??  Well, thanks to my friend Jeane, I found out our local bank now offers heath savings accounts as of February this year!  Hurray, I get to deal with someone who knows my name!!  But it still took a while to fill out all the government forms! 

While I was gone Michael cut the ugly carpet to fit in the trailer—he has all the insulation in and is now working on building a workbench to hold my sewing machine.  He is off to Helena tomorrow to pick up a wrecked jeep with a good engine—to put in the jeep we purchased this spring—do his projects ever end??? 

Remember the haul of quilting “stuff” we purchased in Billings last week.  Well, I shipped off the first package of things to a buyer in Arkansas.  I advertised a collection of eight McKenna Ryan patterns with fabric included to make four of the eight patterns—good fabric from a well known quilt store in Billings.  I advertised on a Yahoo Group called SewItsForSale and had success with this particular item!! 

IMG_5078IMG_5080The clouds and sun were making for beautiful photos this morning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In A Panic

I woke sometime in the early morning hours in a full blown panic—one month before departure date and I have a million and one things to do—how will I get it all done???  My sane and wonderful husband said to me, “one thing at a time, what doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done.”  OK, deep breath, I can do this! 

Finished Marti’s little Christmas table runner, loaded another quilt for her and made great progress quilting it using a dragonfly pantograph.  Had to order some variegated thread to match her other quilts before I could get started on them—thread should be here tomorrow.

Michael worked in the quilting trailer all day—we have lights now, lots and lots of light.  There is an outlet for the air conditioner and lots of other outlets for my quilting machines. 

Emmi slept, played basketball, slept—you get the picture!

Sunshine most of the day but we may get some more snow tonight and tomorrow. 


Monday, October 22, 2012

One Busy Day

I think I’m still recovering from the quilt retreat—woke up tired and stayed tired all day.  Still managed to accomplish a lot!!  I spent a couple hours cleaning and sorting in the quilt room so I could find room to ready a quilt for loading onto the longarm.  All the quilting stuff we purchased in Billings last Wednesday was in various piles all over the room, all my quilt retreat stuff was in the remaining spots and there was no room to work.  The quilt studio looks a lot better tonight and we have started the process of sorting stuff for resale.  Here is one of the treasures we found:

IMG_5036IMG_5042A complete set of Storybook Farm McKenna Ryan patterns—four of the patterns have fabric included—there are eight patterns and 14 yards of really good quality fabric—amazing!

I did manage to get a table runner on the longarm frame for Marti today and even quilted some of it.  Made a bunch of phone calls, laundry, etc.  Just one of those busy, busy days! 

Michael hauled firewood and worked in the enclosed trailer we are taking south. 

We woke to a cloudy/grey day and just after lunch time it started to snow.  It is still 32 degrees so the snow is melting about as fast as it falls. 

Ann and MeThis is a photo of my sister Ann (on the left) and me taken at the Grand by my friend Jane when we all gathered for Gay’s surprise birthday party a few weeks ago. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another Quilt Retreat Is History

What a wonderful four days we had in Red Lodge, MT.  Medicine Flower Lodge is a perfect set up for quilt retreats plus the catered food is fabulous!  The resort furnishes two meals per day—a brunch at 10am and dinner at 5:30pm—in between we don’t starve—there is always more snacks than we have the time to consume!

Our day started early Thursday, Jeane picked me up at Nat’s and we stuffed all my quilting paraphernalia into her Prius—you can get a lot of stuff in a Prius—we proved it!  On to Absarokee for a stop at the quilt shop where everyone managed to find some fabric they couldn’t live without.  Next stop was the quilt shop in Washoe—a tiny, adorable little shop located in an old mining assay office.  Fueled with food we headed for the resort—unpacked and commenced sewing.  We stopped for dinner and sewed some more.

We had a little excitement Thursday night—one of our beloved quilt retreat group members took a fall.  As she is a previous stroke victim we decided she needed a ride in the ambulance to the brand spanking new hospital in Red Lodge.  I accompanied Janet to the hospital and although her tests all proved negative, the doctor on duty decided she needed to try out one of their fancy new rooms for the night.  She was back with us the next morning before lunch—Janet is an example to all of us and her dry wit keeps us totally entertained.

There were some beautiful creations generated this weekend but in all the excitement of leaving Thursday morning—the fully charged camera battery was left at home and the battery in the camera died.  So—I only have a few photos--

IMG_5004One of Linda’s paper pieced blocks.IMG_5006Mary P.’s tiny little Twister quilt.

IMG_5007Another creation by Mary P.IMG_5009Mary F.’s quilt with 7 borders!

IMG_5010Jeane’s little winter quilt—the photo doesn’t do justice to this gorgeous little quilt—Jeane’s choice of colors was perfect!IMG_5011The odd shape in the middle of this photo is a spiral table runner Donna created—in person it is stunning and the colors Donna chose were just so elegant!  The Christmas wall hanging belongs to Barb and the tiny, tiny little pinwheel and star to the left of the spiral table runner belong to me—the star is 3 1/2 inches total size and the pinwheel is 2 1/2 inches—Christmas ornaments—paper pieced and time consuming but adorable!! 

We sadly said our goodbyes just after lunch and headed home—Michael picked me up at Nat’s and was glad to see me but I think little Emmi was even more glad!! 

Thank you quilt retreat friends for a fabulous weekend!  I got so much accomplished and now am ready to get back to the longarm!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quilt Retreat Again

OK, all that political talk, all those comments to read and reply to—you guys wore me out and I need some mental health time! Smile  Really, I had this quilt retreat planned before I jumped into the bear pit!  I am off for four days of quilting, laughing, wine drinking and eating good food.  Will be back Sunday afternoon—Michael and Emmi are holding down the fort but couldn’t convince him to write the blog for me!

Here’s the latest quilt I finished, a beauty pieced by my friend Barb:




Wednesday, October 17, 2012


As Paulette would say, “score and score again.”  While I didn’t find today’s bargains at a garage sale as Paulette usually does, I really hit the jackpot!  I am going to have to ban Michael from surfing Craigslist but if I did he wouldn’t find me these great bargains as he did today.  The only drawback—we had to drive to Billings AGAIN!!!  Aren’t there any bargains closer to home???

The first ad he found was for a Pfaff sewing machine with the features I was looking for—then he noticed several more ads listing fabric, books, rulers, etc.—all from the same phone number.  The woman, about my age has cancer and was starting all over with her quilting career.  She hoped to get enough money from the for sale items to purchase herself a new, fancy sewing machine. 

IMG_5000We came home with bins and bins of fabric, kits with fabric and pattern, books and boxes of books, rulers, thread, and a sewing machine which just happens to have an embroidery unit which has never been used.  IMG_5003

Boxes of magazines—I tried to get her to keep the magazines but no, they had to come home with me.  There are at least a dozen McKenna Ryan applique patterns, some with the fabric.  There is a complete quilt top which only needs quilting, another quilt top which is started but not complete. 

And there was IMG_5002this—the spools are wooden and the thread is silk—anyone have an idea what it is used for??  I’m sure there is tons more buried treasure in all those bins—can’t wait to dig through all them! 

Another incredible windy day in our neck of the woods!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eighteen Years

Some of the best years of my life since I married Michael eighteen years ago today.  I often say to him, “you are the best thing to ever happen to me.”  We celebrated by going over to Livingston and having a wonderful dinner—I had the “famous filet” and Michael had a rib eye—both steaks could be cut with a fork—a delicious meal with my wonderful husband.

It’s a wonder we aren’t in the next county lock, stock and barrel as hard as the wind has blown today!  The wind was so strong it was shoving the jeep all over the road tonight.

I finished Barb’s quilt today and Michael finished Geoff’s doors—on to other projects! 

We stopped to visit Nat for a short while on our way through town, dropped our absentee ballots in the box, got some keys made—just the routine, normal stuff.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting Lots Done

We are leaving about a month earlier this year and I’ve been hard at work making phone calls, lining up programs, calling RV parks, etc.  I made great progress this morning!  We bank at two separate banks—the majority of our banking is done at one, the other bank hosts my quilting business account.  Citizens Bank, where the quilting account is, was one of few banks in Montana which didn’t fold during the depression.  They are a very conservative bank and did not have online banking for a long time after our other bank was up and running with online banking and bill pay.  At first when Citizen’s went online you could only look at your accounts—you couldn’t do anything.  Well, they are in the big leagues now with online banking and bill pay except for me—I couldn’t access our account. 

I would follow all the steps for account set-up and it would lock me out.  I switched internet browsers, didn’t help.  I would go back to the bank, get another temporary password, try again, same thing, I would get to the same point every time then get a “could not perform this function, please try again” message.  Today I called Judy at the bank and told her I was not letting her off the phone until I was online with this bank!!  It took her three tries, she ended up deleting our account and putting it back on before she had any success.  Small towns are the best!

Lunch was delicious chicken fajitas.  Judy over at Patchwork Times talked about a cast iron pizza pan on her blog the other day saying it made her pizza crusts nice and crispy.  I ordered one and it arrived today—guess we will be having pizza again soon—there is a link on the upper left of this blog if you want to check it out!

I finally made it down to the quilting studio this afternoon and made great progress.  Emmi slept all afternoon without bugging me—that helps my productivity!  Michael worked on Geoff’s doors for the Ranger all day—he’s almost there!


Emmi looks as if she is smoking a huge cigar and in the other photo she is flying!

+IMG_4973Our leaves changed to yellow and gold almost overnight.  Probably by tomorrow night we will have bare trees—supposed to be really windy, turn cold and rain.  Come on rain!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Quilt Show

I am so glad I provided more entertainment for my readers today and sorry I wasn’t here to moderate!  I have loved reading all the comments and hope my Canadian friends are not taking offense at some of the misinformed folks here south of the Medicine Line as JB would say.  As Rene said, you need to read the healthcare law—don’t get your information from Tom Brokaw—he’s a neighbor and calls us both by our first names but I wouldn’t take what he says as gospel!!  Plus he leans so far to the left he makes Rick look like he’s from the “right” coast. 

We can elect honest politicians who have our best interests at heart—we and most of our friends vote, attend meetings and forums, write letters and emails, run for local office, etc.  We can elect new members to both the Senate and House but once they are in Washington, the lobbyist take over making them into slick politicians overnight.  They forget us folks back home and our wishes instead bowing to the wishes of the lobbyist who promise them the moon.  Our system is seriously flawed, we are at an impasse—liberals against the conservatives—there appears to be no compromise, period. 

OK, on to something else near and dear to my heart—a quilt show.  The quilt guild in Livingston hosts a quilt show every other year and Jeane went with me to view all the gorgeous eye candy as Paulette would say!  And Jeane got to take her first ride in a convertible! 

Stunning quilts, wonderful people—a very good day!

IMG_4962Best of Show—all hand appliqued and hand quilted—and it was a gigantic quilt!  The quilter said, “a once in a lifetime project.”

IMG_4935A little miniature made by my friend Marjean.

IMG_4936IMG_4938Art quilts—beautiful!

IMG_4939This quilt has a story, keep scrolling—this is the block in the middle, the quilt was hand stitched by a railroad man in the 1950’s.  His wife would trace the designs onto the blocks for him to stitch while away from home.  IMG_4940



When I got home, I quilted for a couple hours then made tomato soup for dinner—YUM!  Michael and Emmi stayed home and held down the fort.